San Sebastian College seeks to become the first NCAA team to lay claim to the Philippine Collegiate Champions League national championship when it goes up against four-time defending UAAP titlist Ateneo Monday at the Fil Oil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
In the eight-year history of the tournament, only the Stags in 2003 and San Beda in 2006 have come close to taking the crown. Now, the Stags need just one win to beat Ateneo as they hold a twice-to-beat advantage in the championship round.
The Stags have the psychological edge over the Blue Eagles especially after overcoming a 12-point deficit en route to a 70-69 win in the semifinals.
“We know that we will meet them again and I hope that we can show that same intensity and aggressiveness again against Ateneo,” said San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson.
The Blue Eagles are the defending champions of the tournament and are going for their fourth PCCL title in five years. Ateneo coach Norman Black said that they want the year to end on a high note that saw the Blue Eagles extend their dynasty in the UAAP.
“We have been playing since March so we are also at the end of the tunnel as far as our season goes. We want to win but at the same time, we look forward to the break after this series is over,” said Black.
Calvin Abueva torched the Blue Eagles late in their semifinals game with 20 points to orchestrate that comeback win by the Stags.
“The high pick-and-rolls with Calvin Abueva really killed us in the end game so if we can beat that, we have a chance,” said Black.
An Ateneo victory will extend the series to a deciding match slated on Wednesday.
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